Forgiveness & Healing


There is a theme of healing that runs right through the Bible, from beginning to end. It’s a theme that intrigues me and excites me and always has.

The first instance of God revealing Himself as ‘healer’ to the Israelite nation is in Exodus 15. There He says,

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” (Ex.15:26)

In using the name “Jehovah-Raphe” in this passage, God identifies healing as a part of His very nature. It is part of who He is. In healing, God (obviously) has a part to play. But sometimes we need to play a part too. Here we see what He says in regards to this.

If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God…

{Did you hear that?}

If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God...

Listen carefully to his voice. How often do we ignore the still, small voice in our heart or the gentle nudge of a suggestion that comes into our head? How can we learn to listen carefully to God and put that into practise daily?

… and if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees…

Pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees. One of the decrees and commands that we are told to obey is the one about forgiving others.

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.… (Matt.18:21-22)

Sometimes we wonder why we do not see healing in our life. Sometimes the issue is unforgiveness. I don’t want to be legalistic here… there might be other factors at work, or other issues that are preventing healing, but sometimes it is because we have unforgiveness in our hearts.

During prayer, I had a picture of a knot to illustrate this. Inside this knot of unforgiveness can live bitterness, anger and a desire for revenge. And the only person that can release this knot… is you. Jesus will not force us to let go of these things… it is actually up to us to release our tight-fisted grasp on our anger, our bitterness, our fear and our pain.

Jesus knows the hurt and pain that is wound into those ‘knots’. He knows. He was there when the hurt was inflicted. And he understands how hard it is for us to let go of what has hurt us. But there is something about the principle of surrender that God honours. He knows that it is a sacrifice for us to let go of those things.

And sometimes, when we let go of that knot inside our soul – when we release the hurt, the pain, the anger, the bitterness, the desire for revenge – it enables God’s healing to be released. Something is released in the spirit when we yield, when we surrender, when we give up what we want to hold onto.

This is a powerful story about Corrie ten Boom, a survivor of one of the Nazi death camps and an encounter years later with one of the prison guards. When I read this story, I am gently chided; if she can forgive an offense this great, surely I too, can forgive those who have offended or hurt me.

Perhaps right now, in the quietness of the moment, you can ask God and the Holy Spirit to reveal to you who you might need to forgive. Don’t second guess what comes to your mind – just forgive, and then move on. If you need help to forgive, or to release the pain of the offense, just be honest with God – ask Him to help you.

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thess.5:24)



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